Since we started Common Waters of Oregon in 2005, one of the political moves that is made every time privatizing or limiting public rivers comes before the state legislature, or the land board, or other committees is calling people who care about public waterways “recreationist”.
Those who would wish to take away or limit your ability travel Oregon rivers often minimize your rights by implying that your need is only recreational, not economic, not fundamental and that somehow their right and need is more legitimate.
Whenever you’re at a public meeting and start hearing “recreationist” (or any form of you only being a fisherman, paddler, a rafter, etc.) being tossed around, understand, someone is trying to paint river travel as unnecessary and frivolous. Don’t let them use that word. Insist you’re just an Oregonian, representing the rights and concerns for all Oregonians.